American conservatives were once thought to be the model of respect for America's political traditions, particularly the fairness and impartiality of the rule of law, but lately something has gone badly amiss in the Justice Department. The DOJ is not completely independent of the Executive, but it is supposed to give the appearance that is at arm's length from the President, since it represents the law of the US that monitors and checks the power of the Executive as well.
The reviled Jimmy Carter saw the dilemma. Carter wanted to keep the Attorney General independent of presidential direction to ensure that the Justice Department's authority would never again be abused for political purposes as it had been during the Nixon presidency.... but his Attorney General Bell refused. He said the Constitution wouldn't permit it. Ultimately, said Bell, the only check on that misuse of power 'involves trust and integrity' -- two qualities no law can provide or guarantee, and which were the glue that held the system in place.
With Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush 41, firewalls and respect for the notion the law must be rendered even-handedly by professionals were seemly adhered to, but all that changed with the present gang in power. They have decided on their narrow grounds of political reliability not only to avoid putting 'the best people you can find in there,' but also to put in inexperienced and malleable acolytes in charge of the selection and firing of senior Justice officials.
There is not one word in the Constitution that mentions political parties, but try telling that to someone like ('the Constitution is only a .... piece of paper') George W. Bush, or ('I don't recall') Alberto Gonzales or (pleading the 5th) Monica Goodling.
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